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Texas Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from the Texas intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of Title 2, Subtitle E of the Texas Estates Code for further details and for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

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Texas Intestate Laws

Sec. 201.001. ESTATE OF AN INTESTATE NOT LEAVING SPOUSE.
(a) If a person who dies intestate does not leave a spouse, the estate to which the person had title descends and passes in parcenary to the person’s kindred in the order provided by this section.
(b) The person’s estate descends and passes to the person’s children and the children’s descendants.
(c) If no child or child’s descendant survives the person, the person’s estate descends and passes in equal portions to the person’s father and mother.
(d) If only the person’s father or mother survives the person, the person’s estate shall:
(1) be divided into two equal portions, with:
(A) one portion passing to the surviving parent; and
(B) one portion passing to the person’s siblings and the siblings’ descendants; or
(2) be inherited entirely by the surviving parent if there is no sibling of the person or siblings’ descendants.
(e) If neither the person’s father nor mother survives the person, the person’s entire estate passes to the person’s siblings and the siblings’ descendants.
(f) If none of the kindred described by Subsections (b)-(e) survive the person, the person’s estate shall be divided into two moieties, with:
(1) one moiety passing to the person’s paternal kindred as provided by Subsection (g); and
(2) one moiety passing to the person’s maternal kindred as provided by Subsection (h).
(g) The moiety passing to the person’s paternal kindred 1 passes in the following order:
(1) if both paternal grandparents survive the person, equal portions pass to the person’s paternal grandfather and grandmother;
(2) if only the person’s paternal grandfather or grandmother survives the person, the person’s estate shall:
(A) be divided into two equal portions, with:
(i) one portion passing to the surviving grandparent; and
(ii) one portion passing to the descendants of the deceased grandparent; or
(B) pass entirely to the surviving grandparent if no descendant of the deceased grandparent survives the person; and
(3) if neither the person’s paternal grandfather nor grandmother survives the person, the moiety passing to the decedent’s paternal kindred passes to the descendants of the person’s paternal grandfather and grandmother, and so on without end, passing in like manner to the nearest lineal ancestors and their descendants.
(h) The moiety passing to the person’s maternal kindred passes in the same order and manner as the other moiety passes to the decedent’s paternal kindred under Subsection (g).

Sec. 201.002. SEPARATE ESTATE OF AN INTESTATE.
(a) If a person who dies intestate leaves a surviving spouse, the estate, other than a community estate, to which the person had title descends and passes as provided by this section.
(b) If the person has one or more children or a descendant of a child:
(1) the surviving spouse takes one-third of the personal estate;
(2) two-thirds of the personal estate descends to the person’s child or children, and the descendants of a child or children; and
(3) the surviving spouse is entitled to a life estate 2 in one-third of the person’s land, with the remainder descending to the person’s child or children and the descendants of a child or children.
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), if the person has no child and no descendant of a child:
(1) the surviving spouse is entitled to all of the personal estate;
(2) the surviving spouse is entitled to one-half of the person’s land without a remainder to any person; and
(3) one-half of the person’s land passes and is inherited according to the rules of descent and distribution.
(d) If the person described by Subsection(c) does not leave a surviving parent or one or more surviving siblings, or their descendants, the surviving spouse is entitled to the entire estate.





Sec. 201.003. COMMUNITY ESTATE OF AN INTESTATE.
(a) If a person who dies intestate leaves a surviving spouse, the community estate of the deceased spouse passes as provided by this section.
(b) The community estate of the deceased spouse passes to the surviving spouse if:
(1) no child or other descendant of the deceased spouse survives the deceased spouse; or
(2) all of the surviving children and descendants of the deceased spouse are also children or descendants of the surviving spouse.
(c) If the deceased spouse is survived by a child or other descendant who is not also a child or descendant of the surviving spouse, one-half of the community estate is retained by the surviving spouse and the other one-half passes to the deceased spouse’s children or descendants. The descendants inherit only the portion of that estate to which they would be entitled under Section 201.101. In every case, the community estate passes charged with the debts against the community estate.

Sec. 201.057. COLLATERAL KINDRED OF WHOLE AND HALF BLOOD.
If the inheritance from an intestate passes to the collateral kindred of the intestate and part of the collateral kindred are of whole blood and the other part are of half blood of the intestate, each of the collateral kindred who is of half blood inherits only half as much as that inherited by each of the collateral kindred who is of whole blood.AAIf all of the collateral kindred are of half blood of the intestate, each of the collateral kindred inherits a whole portion.

Sec. 201.101. DETERMINATION OF PER CAPITA WITH REPRESENTATION DISTRIBUTION.
(a) The children, descendants, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, or other relatives of an intestate who stand in the first or same degree of relationship alone and come into the distribution of the intestate ‘s estate take per capita, which means by persons.
(b) If some of the persons described by Subsection (a) are dead and some are living, each descendant of those persons who have died is entitled to a distribution of the intestate ‘s estate. Each descendant inherits only that portion of the property to which the parent through whom the descendant inherits would be entitled if that parent were alive.